Let’s be honest, we all know that there’s a little movie in production that’s going to change the world as we know it. A little movie called Jem and the Holograms, about a singing superhero with magic earrings. The show was apparently something of a gay touchstone, despite an origin story that isn’t substantively any gayer than Green Lantern (a purple-headed alien gave a smooth boy a magic ring for being without fear).
Here, I’ll let AfterEllen explain:
Jem is the super-secret rock star alter-ego of Jerrica Benton, whose father left behind a music company to run and the technology to turn her into a glam rocker. That’s right, she was doing the double-life thing way before Hannah Montana.
Jerrica’s main goal is to bring money into her company in order to provide for a foster program for girls in need. Female empowerment y’all! Unfortunately, Jerrica and her Starlight Music company have to compete against slimy music exec Eric Raymond, who runs a competing label and was once partners and co-owners of Starlight Music with Jerrica’s now-deceased father. He’s a troll and he also manages the hot nasty bitches, The Misfits.
Aw, I love hot nasty bitches. The movie version is being directed by Jon M. Chu, who directed some Step Up sequels and the Justin Bieber movie… er, movieS… as well as GI Joe Retaliation. Chu recently revealed the cast, along with a picture:
In her first major film role, Nashville actress Aubrey Peeples has been cast as the lead, Jem, in the live-action Jem and the Holograms film, which is being directed by Jon M. Chu.
The Holograms have also been cast: Stefanie Scott, who starred on Disney’s A.N.T. Farm, will play Jem’s sister, Kimber; Pretty Little Liars actress Aurora Perrineau will play Shana; and The Fosters’ Hayley Kiyoko has been cast as Aja.
When the project was first announced on March 20, producers said Jem is being reimagined “for a whole new generation with themes of being true to who you are in a multitasking, hyperlinked social media age.”
Ryan Landels wrote the script, which, per the producers, centers on an orphaned teenage girl who becomes an online recording sensation. She and her sisters embark on a music-driven scavenger hunt — one that sends them on an adventure across Los Angeles in an attempt to unlock a final message left by her father. [THR]
The THR piece notes that they “encouraged fan involvement throughout the process,” but it sounds like some people still aren’t very happy about it. Writes Robyn Pennacchia at DeathandTaxes:
Christy Marx, who wrote the series, has not been consulted! There aren’t any women whatsoever involved with this! Not only that, but there’s no “Synergy,” no actual holograms, no magic earrings and as far as I can tell, no Misfits. And how is Jerrica supposed to go on a cross-country road trip to find treasure when she has the Starlight Orphanage to take care of?
There is literally no reason to bring “Jem and The Holograms” into this. It could just as easily be about a new random fictional girl band, but obviously the producers want to capitalize on the nostalgic love women have for the series. Which is crap.
Not surprisingly, I don’t have strong opinions about Jem and the Holograms as a heterosexual male. But as someone who writes about film and television, I’m positively livid that I’m now aware of both a Hayley Kiyoko and Kaley Cuoco. There’s just no way there needs to be both.